JUMP, JUMP, EVERYBODY JUMP: HOW TO TRAIN FOR EXPLOSIVENESS

When was the last time you voluntarily incorporated jump training into your workout? Be honest..!

You’ve got your squat and lunge form perfected, can handle dumbbells and a barbell with ease, and are on point with your mobility drills. But when was the last time you voluntarily incorporated jumps at the end of your workout? Be honest..!

 

It’s been scientifically proven that the more explosive power you can generate, the more successful your overall athletic performance will be. A jumping programme is really, really good for you because it engages your largest muscles to lift you off the ground, and then demands that you absorb two-to-three times your own body weight in force when you land. All of this means that you build muscle power much quicker than focusing on stationary exercises alone.

 

There are essentially three baseline ‘types’ of jump that you can do when training: vertical, linear (forwards) and lateral (sideways). The vertical jump is one of the most effective tests of full body strength and is to athletic power what accelerating from 0-60 is to car racing. Ultimately, horsepower in a car dictates acceleration, much the same as the vertical jump relies on how well you use the horsepower in your own body. Lateral jumps also strengthen your lower body but really come into their own when considering balance and coordination benefits. Linear and lateral jumping requires lateral stabilisation from your core in order to properly execute the movement with good form. Because of this, both linear and lateral jumps are also excellent in stabilising and strengthening your hips, knees, ankles and feet as well as strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves to turn strength into speed.

 

Yes, I know all of this sounds challenging. Jump training will make you sweat – and might also make you hate me a little bit (sorry!) – but I promise that I’m not trying to torture you! You don’t have to go overboard; adding two or three of these movements to the end of your routine will help you develop power in your jump to rival NBA record holder, Michael Jordan, improve your balance to help you rock your yoga class and improve your bone density tenfold. In other words, you’ll be in the best shape of your life.

 

So, if you’re serious about developing power and strength, are not one to shy away from a challenge and want to have a little fun, get ready to jump around!

TRAP BAR SQUAT JUMP

What muscles do trap bar squat jumps work?

A trap bar squat jump is the explosive sister to the trap bar deadlift. Trap bar squat jumps use your glutes, hamstrings, quads and back.

 

What equipment do I need?

A trap bar and some weight plates

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

3-5 sets of 5 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Step inside the trap bar and place your feet about hip-width apart
  2. Squat down until you can reach the handles and grip the trap bar. Keep your back flat with tension in your lats and upper back, and arms straight.
  3. Push through the floor with your feet as hard as you can and drive your hips forward.
  4. When you get to the top explosively jump as high as you can. Keep your arms straight and don’t pull with your hands – push with your legs.  
  5. Land softly onto the balls of your feet as you keep a flat back and push your hips back. Don’t collapse your knees inwards.

Alternating leg LATERAL jump

What muscles do alternating leg lateral jumps work?

Lateral jumps are a plyometric exercise that use your bodyweight to work muscles throughout your body. Lateral jumps focus on the inner and outer thigh and hip muscles and so can be paired effectively with a trap bar squat jump for an overall lower body workout. 

 

What equipment do I need?

No equipment required

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

2-3 sets of 10-12 reps per leg

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees and a neutral head and neck position. Keep the weight evenly distributed along your feet
  2. Engage your core and bend your hips back whilst keeping a vertical shin whilst you lower into a quarter-squat position on one leg – we’ll use the right leg in this example.
  3. Explosively push through the floor and jump sideways to the left (away from the leg that’s propelling you off the floor). Swing your arms forward to help with momentum
  4. Softly on the balls of your feet on your left leg and allow your hips and knees to bend slightly and absorb the force on landing. Keep your core engaged throughout the landing.
  5. Repeat the movement jumping from your left leg to the right. You want to spend as little time on the floor as possible, so jump swiftly keeping good technique.

Drop Jump

What muscles do drop jumps work?

The drop jump is a test of leg strength and power, working the quads, hamstrings, glute and calves. It also helps develops ankle, knee and hip extension

 

What equipment do I need?

A sturdy, relatively small box to jump off – between 20 to 60cm in height

 

How many reps and sets should i do?

2-3 sets of 5-8 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Stand at the edge of the box and step forward off if, whilst keeping your gaze forward and your core tight
  2. Land with minimal bend in the knee and with relatively rigid feet, ready to bounce back in the air as soon as you land.
  3. Immediately after landing spring into the air as high as you can and as quickly as you can, raising your arms for momentum

BROAD JUMP REBOUNDS

What muscles do broad jump rebounds work?

The broad jump rebound tests explosive leg power and balance, working the quads, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors

 

What equipment do I need?

No equipment needed

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

5 sets of 3-5 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Place your feet shoulder width apart and balance on the balls of your feet
  2. Crouch into a squat position and swing the arms back as far as you can.
  3. Swing the arms forwards for momentum, and jump forwards as far as you can
  4. Upon landing immediately rebound into the next jump without resting

VERTICAL JUMP

What muscles do vertical jumps work?

The vertical jump is an essential part of your power training programme and work your lower body muscles, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes, to propel your body upward when you jump

 

What equipment do I need?

No equipment needed for a vertical jump

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

2-5 sets of 3-5 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Place your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend to your knees and keep a neutral head position.
  2. Maintain a fairly vertical shin position before lowering into your jumping position
  3. Explosively push your feet into the ground to jump into the air as high as you can
  4. Land softly on the balls of your feet whilst absorbing the force through your knees and hips.  Your landing posture should be the same as your jumping posture.

SQUAT JUMP

What muscles do squat jumps work?

The squat jump is used quite a bit to measure lower-body power of your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, as well as improve explosive hip extension which is the foundation of athletic movement

 

What equipment do I need?

No equipment needed

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

3-5 sets of 10-15 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees, in your usual squat stance
  2. Lower into a squat position with your arms outstretched in front of you
  3. Explosively push your feet into the ground to jump into the air from the squat as high as you can. Your arms will help you with momentum, so s you straighten your legs swing your arms forwards and upwards.
  4. Land softly on the balls of your feet whilst absorbing the force through your knees and hips.  

DEPTH JUMP

What muscles do depth jumps work?

The depth jump is similar to the drop jump and activates the glutes, quards, hamstrings and calves. With practice, depth jumping can increase your explosive power, improving your reactive strength, jumping ability, and sports performance

 

What equipment do I need?

A box 

 

How many reps and sets should I do?

2-3 sets of 5-8 reps

 

How perform the jump:

  1. Stand at the edge of your box and step off it
  2. Land with bent knees in a semi-squat position 
  3. Explosively push your feet into the ground to jump into the air from the squat as high as you can. 
  4. Land softly whilst engaging your core.  

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